Pete & Pickles

Berkeley Breathed, Author, Berkeley Breathed, Illustrator . Philomel $17.99 (48p) ISBN 978-0-399-25082-8

A pig named Pete leads a perfectly predictable and sensible existence until Pickles, the runaway circus elephant, turns it upside-down. Pickles possesses the joie de vivre of Auntie Mame (and the extensive wardrobe to carry it off with élan). She takes Pete swan-diving off Niagara Falls and sledding down the Matterhorn: that both of these activities unfold in places that are a far cry from the actual locales doesn't make them any less exciting to the increasingly game Pete. Breathed (Mars Needs Moms! ) writes in that giddy blend of skepticism and romanticism that have made his Pulitzer Prize–winning Bloom County comic strip a must-read—he creates not just a series of funny/tender vignettes but an emotional rollercoaster of a story, complete with a gripping life-or-death climax. Yet it's the digital artwork that's the real grabber. With nods to Hokusai and Hopper, Magritte and film noir, Breathed achieves a dreamy intensity, a sculptural heft that makes these images his most evocative and expansive to date. Ages 3–5. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 08/04/2008
Release date: 11/01/2008
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